Too much box stepping?

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  • #8152


    As a general rule (mountaineering objective) can “box steps” be comprising too much % of my workouts?

    My aerobic base so far in my transition period has been box steps with a weighted pack; I’ve found it to be a good method to work climbing muscles (> cycling at least) and to keep myself in Zone 1. I’m not a trained runner so running gets me quickly to Z3+; cycling I could manage but would need more hours than my schedule allows (also my past cycling hasn’t helped my legs for climbing much, thus my gravitation towards box steps).

    In planning for my base period, I’m realizing that I’ll be doing lots of box steps (or similar movements). Box steps for aerobic; strength plan will include squats, split squats, and more box steps (strength/weighted). Is all this too much of the same movement? (I’m very gradually moving into all this and so far my legs feel good, recovery between workouts during the week feel pretty good).

    Should I be including running or cycling just to change up muscles worked or don’t be too concerned?

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    Anonymous on #8155

    @afwang1: To be honest, I don’t know. I’m impressed that you have the discipline to do this much box stepping. Are you in an area without the terrain for hilly hikes outside?

    You’re right that cycling won’t be as effective a stimulus, and it sounds like running is not ideal right now. The only suggestions that I have would be to try to improve your running by running, even if it is painfully slow. Over the long haul, I think that you’ll benefit from having more activities to choose from.

    As far as the box-stepping in particular, I don’t think that it could be too much other than if it’s hard mentally. If it becomes a grind mentally, then I would change it up. It’s important to maintain your enthusiasm for training.

    Training-wise, it seems like the most specific activity that you have. Changing up the height of the box may be a good idea from time to time. Typical box steps are much higher than the actual step height used hiking and climbing.

    I hope that helps.

    Anonymous on #8159

    We do not recommended weighted box steps in the early aerobic base building period. During that time you need to doing all hiking, running, treadmill, stairmaster, box steps without weight. When you add weight to these you are sudden making this into a muscular endurance workout not an aerobic base workout. Build the aerobic base and the strength base at the same time but in separate workouts and then only in the late stages of the program do you combine aerobic and strength into one workout and that is the muscular endurance phase. It is quite likely that your current program is has too much “strength” demands. Do not bother with squats if you are a climber. You need single leg strength. Use heavy box steps in for building STRENGTH. Use smaller box steps with no weight for building endurance. Do not do box steps exclusively. If you can run then hike. This can be on a treadmill.


    Anonymous on #8161

    S.Semple: I live in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia, so yea pretty flat. I’m only 4 weeks in but I haven’t lost my gusto at least not yet.

    S. Johnston: The weight + pack = 10% body weight; pretty light but I won’t argue with you and I’ll dump it. I clearly fit in the ADS group and the Forums here have been helpful for that, I’ll follow tips from those threads. My home box step has adjustable legs and I’ve kept it at 12″ (I’m 5’9″). Climbing/strength gym has a bigger size 18-24″.

    Thanks everybody!

    Anonymous on #8163

    Doh. Sorry, @afwang1. For whatever reason, I didn’t see the “weighted backpack” in your question. Go with what Scott J. said.

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